How would 1996 and 2000 Olympics have gone

magnuslarson

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I am glad you bring this up.

I am glad to see Maria rightfully got 3rd in the SP despite being first to skate of 28. Her 3Lz-2Lp, 3Lp, 2A were impressive, considering Lipinski's 3Lz-2Lp, 3F, 2A and Kwan's 3Lz-2T, 3T, 2A. Probably the best skating of Maria's career. I actually think the technical elements were superior to Lipinski's because they had more height and distance. Had she skated later with the same quality, she probably would have beaten Lipinski and possibly Kwan. (Kwan really should have done the 3F a la US Nationals instead of the 3T.)

Unfortunately, Maria was severely out of sync with the music in the LP and all her jumps were not solid, which caused Otonal to fall flat. Skating last in the LP, she could have upset Lipinski.
Maria would have had to skate a LP like the 99 worlds to have any chance to upset Lipinski. And even then I think it would be hard as she she had less jump content than Lipinski and even Kwan; eg no triple-triple, no 2nd triple lutz. Maybe she could have flipped the ordinals of Kwan and Lipinski and given Kwan the win thouh.
 

asdf334

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Obviously you are also missing the part of Kwan admitting she would not have snuck out to take her Senior test a year early had there been no 1994 Olympics. Her timeline is changed so everything does not stay the same as you are having it. It is still very possible she could be a contender by 1996, but everything does not stay exactly the same as you have it either (2nd/3rd at 94 Nationals, 4th at 95 Worlds, etc...). That is excluding that Baiul and Sato almost certainly stay in for 96, although Baiul could be on decline with her injury and changing body by 95, let alone 96.
If there was a 1996 Olympics, it wouldn't surprise me at all if Kwan still went senior in 1994, so no I don't think that changes anything in her approach that significantly.
 

vanillashake

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If there was a 1996 Olympics, it wouldn't surprise me at all if Kwan still went senior in 1994, so no I don't think that changes anything in her approach that significantly.
Yeah she still could go senior in 1994 for sure but I don't think she still finishes 2nd if it is her first Senior Nationals at 13. I also don't think she finishes 4th at worlds as only a 2nd year Senior at 14, especialy with almost certainly more skaters (Baiul, Sato, maybe 1 of Kerrigan or Harding) there. I do not see the same trajectory if she indeed turns Senior a year later, but it is all speculation in the end.
 

Marco

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1996

[if Baiul competed in 1996] I don't see Baiul as a threat in 1996. She was never really that consistent and was barely doing one of each triples and not really doing jump combos, spin combos or steps. By 1995, enough of elite skaters like Kwan, Chen, Bonaly and Bobek were doing more complete programs, with 7 triples, 2 3lutzes, 3/3s or a full range of steps, spins and jump combos that judges would be very hard pressed not to look at the reality of the deficiency of her first mark. I do believe if she continued her inconsistent self in 1995 and 1996, judges would have already fallen out of love / patience with her skating by the time of the Olympics. Skaters like Chen, Bobek and Sato would have established their artistic selves with actual choreographies by 1995 that Baiul wouldn't really have an edge on the second mark either.

Don't forget - by 1996, ladies could do a solo triple jump in the short. I wouldn't bank on Baiul having a clean short.

[if Sato competed in 1996] I see her as a moderate threat in 1996 for top 5 but unlikely to medal. She never really had the lutz and flip and barely made one of each in 1994. Her jump combos were small and often very slightly UR. Like Baiul, I see her being overtaken technically and can't see her matching the others with 2 3lutzes or 3/3s.

Kerrigan would likely have retired after 1992.

Bonaly wasn't going to be a threat in 1996 anyways because the judges didn't like her and she was also injured in 1996.

The podium would likely be Kwan, Chen and then Bobek, Slutskaya and Butyrskaya in some order fighting for bronze, with Sato being an outside shot for a medal. The way I see it, Bobek would likely be a lot more disciplined in 1996 if it was an Olympic year. If there was no 1994 Olympics, Butyrskaya wouldn't have fallen out of favour with her Fed for missing to qualify a spot there, and if Butyrskaya had more support, judges were more likely to go with her instead of Slutskaya then.

I am inclined to think the placement would be Kwan, Chen and Bobek.

2000

I think regardless of how Kwan vs Lipinski panned out between 1996 to 2000, Lipinski would have been too injured to be competitive in 2000. Bobek would be gone - can't see her last til 2000. I think the US team would still be Kwan, Nikodinov and Hughes. Nam and Cohen would have been too young or in any event not a threat. Kwan wouldn't have taken most of 1999 season off and who knows who would win 1999 Worlds then. She would also have deferred UCLA for a season. Regardless, Butyrskaya would be skating at her prime and be a major medal threat. Slutskaya might not have let herself go after 1998 season which ironically means there might not have been the transformation in 1999 that gave her so much success.

I am inclined to think the placement would be Kwan, Butyrskaya and Slutskaya.
 

olympic

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I often wonder if there would have still been reinstatements w/ changes in Olympic years: Would Witt have made an attempt at 1996? Two years older and competing against ladies with a bigger arsenal of jumps, she probably would have been buried even if she made the German team. Probably the same shot at making the team since she got by Kiehlmann in 1994 who had more difficult tech. Szewczenko was around in 1994 and would've been there in 1996.

Ito would have not been around, though
 

Marco

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I am glad you bring this up.

I am glad to see Maria rightfully got 3rd in the SP despite being first to skate of 28. Her 3Lz-2Lp, 3Lp, 2A were impressive, considering Lipinski's 3Lz-2Lp, 3F, 2A and Kwan's 3Lz-2T, 3T, 2A. Probably the best skating of Maria's career. I actually think the technical elements were superior to Lipinski's because they had more height and distance. Had she skated later with the same quality, she probably would have beaten Lipinski and possibly Kwan. (Kwan really should have done the 3F a la US Nationals instead of the 3T.)

Unfortunately, Maria was severely out of sync with the music in the LP and all her jumps were not solid, which caused Otonal to fall flat. Skating last in the LP, she could have upset Lipinski.
Butyrskaya definitely should have been ahead of Lipinski in the short. She had singificantly better lutz, axel and flying camel than Lipinski, and her 3loop was smooth as butter, vs Lipinski's flip which was clean but very slightly shaky. IMO she was also majorly hosed in the second mark vs Lipinski. Darn the skate order. [not that tis affects the overall results though]

In the free though, even if she had skated like at 1999 Worlds, I doubt she could upset Lipinski or Kwan. She wasn't even a World medalist at that point and wouldn't have a 2nd 3lutz. She would have been a clear bronze medalist though.

I’m 100% convinced that Butyrskaya gave away the bronze medal by giving up towards the end and sulking around for 30 seconds following her program. She was over it and didn’t even wait for the marks to show up— it’s a miracle she was as close to bronze as she was.

I’ve always thought this long program was one time where Slutskaya should’ve been ahead of her, but Irina was given a gift in the short anyways.
Yes. Most of her triples were stiff if not two footed too. She also did not have a single jump combination, let alone triple jump combo, compared to Slutskaya who had 3 different ones including a late 3/3, or Chen who had a lutz combo and a very late but cheated 3/3. If she had attempted and landed the 2nd 3loop right before the 2axel, she would probably have had the bronze. As was, I think a close 4th to either Chen or Slutskaya in the free was a bit of a gift and probably was done just to compensate for the under marking in the short. In hindsight, if the Soviet-friendly judges had coordinated better in advance on which Russian lady to support, perhaps they could have pushed Slutskaya to bronze instead of spliting their ordinals on both ladies and having Chen ahead.

But yes, Slutskaya only did a 2/2 in the short and so I would still have Butyrskaya ahead overall. It's just that it wasn't a particularly well skated short other than the top four and I don't know who could have placed ahead of Slutskaya. Perhaps Liashenko who stepped out of her lip but was otherwise perfect and skated to a great program. Definitely not Bonaly or Malinina though.
 

vanillashake

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With Maria drawing 1st to skate in the short program it would have been pretty much impossible to place higher than 3rd. That was a huge disadvantage with a field with so many medal contenders. I don't think Kwan would have even been able to place 1st over Tara in the short if she drew 1st.

Some judges actually tied Maria on the elements mark and had Tara higher based on the presentation mark (LOL) so I am pretty sure skating later she could have been 2nd in the short possibly, but not sure that would have made any difference in the final results if she still skates the same long program she did. Literally any other long program she did that year besides Skate Canada would have easily won her the bronze, even the imperfect ones. Bigtime choke, even if it was still a semi respectable skate.
 

vanillashake

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I often wonder if there would have still been reinstatements w/ changes in Olympic years: Would Witt have made an attempt at 1996? Two years older and competing against ladies with a bigger arsenal of jumps, she probably would have been buried even if she made the German team. Probably the same shot at making the team since she got by Kiehlmann in 1994 who had more difficult tech. Szewczenko was around in 1994 and would've been there in 1996.

Ito would have not been around, though
I think reinstatement ended in April 95. It is a good question though, would some of the returnees have still tried a comeback. Obviously that does not affect the ladies event in anyway unless Yamaguchi reinstated and if she didn't for 94 we already pretty much know she wouldn't have for 96. I highly doubt Ito does if it is an Olympic year either, she barely could handle the stress of a non Olympic year. Witt is an interesting independent question, although with nothing to do with the medal battle. I think she makes the team easier in 96 than 94 if she tries even with her marginal and outdated technical skills. Germany had no decent ladies besides Szewcenko anymore. I don't see Kiellmann staying in for 96 at all, although who knows for sure. I think she is one of many who only stayed 2 more years since there was a 94 Olympics.

It is interesting to wonder about the other events. I don't see any pair reinstatments with Sergei's death. I could see Browning or Petrenko reinstate as I don't think Browning stays for 96 outright, but could reinstate for it. They could both be huge factors which I had not considered. Boitano could reinstate again, and it might be a better year for him to contender than 94 where he had knee problems. As for the dance Usova & Zhulin I think stick it out to 96 but if they don't probably reinstate. Would Torvill & Dean still have reinstated? Not sure, that is 50/50 for me.
 

olympic

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^Yeah, Kiehlmann was at Calgary 88. I'm not sure she would've stuck around after 1992, but she did have some of her best skates ever at 93 and 94 Worlds.
 

SmallFairy

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Kielmann stayed until 1995 Euros, to skate at home in Germany, where she bombed the SP and slayed the FS. I don’t know it she would have stayed if Olympics wasn’t in ‘94 though.
 

magnuslarson

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Even if reinstatement still happened I am not sure the pros would have been any factor as far as medals.

Ladies- Forget it unless Yamaguchi reinstates of course. If Yamaguchi reinstates she is an instant gold contender everytime period. Ito was a disaester at 96 worlds, so we can write her off for a 96 Olympics. And Witt is no factor. Maybe Kerrigan reinstates even if she doesn't stay for 96, but I think in the 96 field she is a bit contender at best unless she stays to build up her momentum/rep edge on the others. She never did more than 5 triples in a competition or 2 triple lutzes.

Men- Petrenko, Browning, and Boitano were more technically outdated by 96 than they ever were in 94. In 94 they had a shot if they skated well, less so in 96. The field was rising even further technically, even Galindo's bronze skate at the 96 worlds had more content than any of them would manage with 8 triples and 2 triple-triples.

Dance- Torvill & Dean would be too old by now. In a field of Gritschuk & Platov, Usova & Zhulin, Krylova & Ovsiannikov, and maybe Rahkammo & Kokko they are probably looking at 4th or 5th place when they only managed bronze in 94. No other possible reinstatements unless U&Z reinstate as opposed to staying, either way U&Z are probably there and medal, but not gold. If U&Z couldn't beat G&P in 94 no way they do it in 96 as much older skaters with G&P fully matured, and their personal relationship falling apart. Russian sweep.

Pairs- Dmitriev & Miskutienok are no longer a team even if there is a 96 Olympics. G&G are no more. No reinstatees, atleast none that can matter.
 

magnuslarson

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1996

[if Baiul competed in 1996] I don't see Baiul as a threat in 1996. She was never really that consistent and was barely doing one of each triples and not really doing jump combos, spin combos or steps. By 1995, enough of elite skaters like Kwan, Chen, Bonaly and Bobek were doing more complete programs, with 7 triples, 2 3lutzes, 3/3s or a full range of steps, spins and jump combos that judges would be very hard pressed not to look at the reality of the deficiency of her first mark. I do believe if she continued her inconsistent self in 1995 and 1996, judges would have already fallen out of love / patience with her skating by the time of the Olympics. Skaters like Chen, Bobek and Sato would have established their artistic selves with actual choreographies by 1995 that Baiul wouldn't really have an edge on the second mark either.

Don't forget - by 1996, ladies could do a solo triple jump in the short. I wouldn't bank on Baiul having a clean short.

[if Sato competed in 1996] I see her as a moderate threat in 1996 for top 5 but unlikely to medal. She never really had the lutz and flip and barely made one of each in 1994. Her jump combos were small and often very slightly UR. Like Baiul, I see her being overtaken technically and can't see her matching the others with 2 3lutzes or 3/3s.

Kerrigan would likely have retired after 1992.

Bonaly wasn't going to be a threat in 1996 anyways because the judges didn't like her and she was also injured in 1996.

The podium would likely be Kwan, Chen and then Bobek, Slutskaya and Butyrskaya in some order fighting for bronze, with Sato being an outside shot for a medal. The way I see it, Bobek would likely be a lot more disciplined in 1996 if it was an Olympic year. If there was no 1994 Olympics, Butyrskaya wouldn't have fallen out of favour with her Fed for missing to qualify a spot there, and if Butyrskaya had more support, judges were more likely to go with her instead of Slutskaya then.

I am inclined to think the placement would be Kwan, Chen and Bobek.

2000

I think regardless of how Kwan vs Lipinski panned out between 1996 to 2000, Lipinski would have been too injured to be competitive in 2000. Bobek would be gone - can't see her last til 2000. I think the US team would still be Kwan, Nikodinov and Hughes. Nam and Cohen would have been too young or in any event not a threat. Kwan wouldn't have taken most of 1999 season off and who knows who would win 1999 Worlds then. She would also have deferred UCLA for a season. Regardless, Butyrskaya would be skating at her prime and be a major medal threat. Slutskaya might not have let herself go after 1998 season which ironically means there might not have been the transformation in 1999 that gave her so much success.

I am inclined to think the placement would be Kwan, Butyrskaya and Slutskaya.
One thing about Baiul in 96 is she was regularly dominant over Chen in 93-94, and Chen was still one of the top by 96, winning the 95 worlds, narrowly missing winning and some think being robbed of winning the 96 worlds. While Chen improved after 94, atleast in artistry, while declining in consistency and maybe technical skills, the way reputation of the sport works Baiul might have stayed above her if she atleast kept her 93-94 level just because she was Baiul and she always had an Emperor with No Clothes thing about her where until she retired people were deluded to her true abilities and seemed to all buy into the myth she was better than she was.

Sato really improved as a pro, I wonder if she would have had the same improvement trajectory if she stayed amateur or that only happens as a pro. Her jumps may not have been strong enough compared to the others (Kwan, Chen, Slutskaya, Kerrigan, even Baiul) even if she did though.
 

olympic

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Another thing about 1996 was Russia's entries in the ladies event: The drama started back in 1993 when Butryskaya crashed and burned at Worlds, leaving Russian w/ no spots in 1994. Olga Markova and Butyrskaya were 3rd and 4th at 1994 Euros and Butyrskaya I believe won Russian Nationals in 1995, but was denied a spot at Worlds as 'punishment' by her Federation. Markova and a young Slutskaya went to 1995 Worlds and finished 5th and 7th. Slutskaya had just been crowned World Junior Champ.

If Baiul and Sato were theoretically competing at 1995 Worlds, I believe at least one of them would've pushed Markova and Slutskaya down a spot. Russia may have been left w/ 2 spots. Who would be left out if there had not been an Olympics in 1994 in which Butyrskaya failed to secure a spot the year before? Would the calculus have changed? Markova was the top finisher for Russia in 1994 and 1995, so the team may not have included a young Slutskaya in 1996 [even if in the real world she was bronze medalist], but someone like Markova. Butyrskaya not punished may have been sent w/ Markova to 1995 Worlds w/ all their experience, not Slutskaya who was a Junior. The same team may have been Russia's Olympic team and Slutskaya would have had no Senior experience on a big stage leading up to the 1996 Olympics. Interesting thought.
 

olympic

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My final analysis of 1996 would be -

Top tier:

1. Chen Lu - Always on the Worlds podium from 1992 - 1996 [except 1994 due to injury]; 1995 World Champ and losing the 1996 title by a hair
2. Kwan - 1996 World Champ. Kept it together under pressure. A few disagree but I believe MK would have been in the game for 2 reasons despite youth: She developed w/ FC at her own pace and a lot of her strategy and abilities would have remained the same in 1996, whether it was an Olympic year or not. Secondly, with Kerrigan retired, the USFSA would have had no favorite to push: Bobek by 1996 was a little unpredictable in their minds. Harding, who I believe would have attempted to stay in 'til 1996, was persona non grata even w/o the whack. Ervin was retiring in 1994 to go to Harvard [she never was world medal caliber anyway] and Kwiatkowski was ability-wise pretty far behind all the aforementioned.
3. Sato - 1994 World Champ and just off the podium in 1993. She would have been in the mix for a medal at Lillehamer but for the pop in the SP. Stunning SS and developing nicely from the period of 1992-94, adding the Lutz after 1992. She was obviously preferred by the establishment to those in the group behind her such as Surya Bonaly, a multiple world medallist herself. Sato was also a good performer w/ a good pro career after 1994. I think she may have been a prohibitive favorite for Bronze.

------

The rest--

4. Baiul - 1993 World / 1994 Olympic champ [IMO controversially]; Youthful and the best showmanship, I think she would have stuck it out to 1996, considering it would have been her only Olympic appearance. I know injury and growth played a role in the decline of her abilities, but I think Zmevskaya in her expertise may have tapered her differently for 1996, yet her jumping abilities and program layouts, which barely got her the Olympic crown in 1994, would have hampered her chances even more in 1996, where ladies had technically more ambitious programs. I also think despite different tapering, her growth would have still occurred and further hampered her. After all is said and done, I think she would have been a crowd favorite and in the final group near a medal.

5. Butyrksaya - She finished 4th at 1996 Worlds ahead of the likes of Bonaly and Szewczenko, and I realistically believe the Russian team would have been her and Markova (not Slutskaya; see my post above) to an Olympics in 1996. She checked all the boxes for the judges artistically and was considered technically ambitious back in those days. She was still not as well known as those mentioned above, but I think if she had attended 1995 Worlds [no 'punishment'], it may have given her even more credibility and a boost.

6. Bonaly - She was World silver medalist from 1993 - 1995, European Champion a few times, and just missed the podium at the Olympics in 1994, so no doubt she would have been a contender even if the judges weren't crazy about her. However, I have her ranked lower because injury had set in. I'm not sure that her tapering and strategy would have changed even if 1996 had been an Olympic year, because she was rogue and always did her own thing, and was not properly coached. She still was 5th at 1996 Worlds as it was.

7. Bobek - 1995 US National Champion and World Bronze medalist [leader after the SP]. Just as unpredictable as Bonaly, she was also injured in 1996 and her unpredictable behavior meant it would be impossible to determine if her team would have tapered differently. On the plus side, I recall her SP was beautiful in 1996 and she still could have made an impact somewhere in the top 10. Judges loved her when she put together a decent program. Nevertheless, I don't consider her a medal threat because even healthy, she was capable of some serious crack-ups.

8. Szewczenko - 1994 World bronze medalist and was 6th at 1996 Worlds. She had been on the scene since 1993 with consistent finishes. She did not have the complete package to be a medal threat, but she was consistent enough to be in the top 10. She may have finished higher if Bobek and Bonaly unraveled [some felt she should have been above Bonaly in 1996 as it was].

9. Kwiatkowski - I think 1996 was her best year internationally, but I think this is another skater that didn't get a lot of love from the judges [deserved or not is another debate]. She finished 8th at 1996 Worlds and would have probably skated similarly. IMO, there was no one to really threaten her 3rd spot on the US team: While the USFSA took a chance on a young Lipinski for 1996 Worlds, I don't think they would have done the same for an Olympic games. Harding was just no longer going to be considered. Period.

10. Chouinard - She may have finished lower. Chouinard was talented and a really good skater who checked the boxes, but woefully inconsistent and prone to even bigger catastrophic meltdowns than Bobek. The last big event where she performed well was 1991 Worlds and finished 6th. She had a great SP at 1993 Worlds and worse in the LP than Kerrigan that year. I still believe she would have stuck around until 1996 because she like to perform and had a career on the Pro circuit.

There are others like Markova and Elena Liashenko who may have been in the penultimate group. Markova may have cracked the top 10. She was 5th at 1995 Worlds and slipped by 1996, but again an Olympic year may have inspired her. I don't know enough about her. Liashenko would have been the no. 2 Ukrainian and seemed to make a home in the penultimate group. On the French front, Laetitia Hubert was a veteran, really up and down but had good finishes at 1995 and 1997 Worlds, but was missing from the line up in 1996 for some reason, so I didn't include her in my ruminations. Gusmeroli would bust out in 1997, yet wasn't quite soup when she attended and finished lower at 1996 Worlds.
 
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vanillashake

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Another thing about 1996 was Russia's entries in the ladies event: The drama started back in 1993 when Butryskaya crashed and burned at Worlds, leaving Russian w/ no spots in 1994. Olga Markova and Butyrskaya were 3rd and 4th at 1994 Euros and Butyrskaya I believe won Russian Nationals in 1995, but was denied a spot at Worlds as 'punishment' by her Federation. Markova and a young Slutskaya went to 1995 Worlds and finished 5th and 7th. Slutskaya had just been crowned World Junior Champ.

If Baiul and Sato were theoretically competing at 1995 Worlds, I believe at least one of them would've pushed Markova and Slutskaya down a spot. Russia may have been left w/ 2 spots. Who would be left out if there had not been an Olympics in 1994 in which Butyrskaya failed to secure a spot the year before? Would the calculus have changed? Markova was the top finisher for Russia in 1994 and 1995, so the team may not have included a young Slutskaya in 1996 [even if in the real world she was bronze medalist], but someone like Markova. Butyrskaya not punished may have been sent w/ Markova to 1995 Worlds w/ all their experience, not Slutskaya who was a Junior. The same team may have been Russia's Olympic team and Slutskaya would have had no Senior experience on a big stage leading up to the 1996 Olympics. Interesting thought.
Butyrskaya lost political favor in Russia forever, even after her World title win in 1999 they jumped on the Slutskaya bandwagon immediately once she returned to form in fall 1999. That said she missed the 1995 worlds mostly since the bombed the 1995 Europeans. As Slutskaya had a low finish in the short program there it would have been extremely easy to qualify for Worlds over her. In fact with Markova delivering her usual subpar long program, atleast the silver at Europeans would have been easy with a reasonably good skate. She instead bombed badly and dropped to 7th from 3rd in the short, thus losing her spot at worlds to young Slutskaya.

If Markova still has the same 96 season she had, Butyrskaya and Slutskaya likely beat her out if there is only 2 spots quite easily. She had a super poor finish at Europeans and generally declined steadily after her 94-95 peak. Markova was a huge favorite of the Russian fed but when she was not delivering the technical goods there is nothing you can do about that.

Even at the 95 worlds she blew her shot of a medal, being 2nd to Bobek and ahead of eventual gold and silver medalists Chen and Bonaly after the short and dropped to 5th after the long program where despite no disaester errors she managed only 3 (maybe 2 since I think one was two footed) clean triples.
 

vanillashake

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Just seems ladies is by far the popular event around here. There seems little extra interest in the pairs, mens, dance scenarios. Not that there is anything wrong with it, just an observation.
 

essence_of_soy

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Well then thank god the Olympics weren't in 1996, otherwise we would never have been treated to this iconic program and music. :love: (which @SmallFairy refers to--she totally slayed this at 95 Euros, but I like her hair better here. :p )
Kiellmann's music was so deliciously awful, I kind of loved it.

I'm kind of sorry tall, tall Marina isn't around now. Imagine her sharing a podium with the likes of Shcherbakova or Trusova. She would look like a giant beside them.
 
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essence_of_soy

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Just seems ladies is by far the popular event around here. There seems little extra interest in the pairs, mens, dance scenarios. Not that there is anything wrong with it, just an observation.
Eltsova and Bushkov would have to be the most boring world pairs' champions in recent memory. In spite of some nice technical tricks, they shared zero chemistry together.

I'm sorry that Shishkova and Naumov struggled on the triple toe loops. Otherwise, they had a real shot at gold in Edmonton.

Both teams, however, were pretty much done once Bereznaja and Sikharulidze become partners.

Dance seemed pretty predictable.

The real surprise was Galindo. I was so happy he was able to carry the momentum from his national title to the world championships. I thought he deserved gold, but Eldredge was not going to give up without a fight. Todd was on fire in the free skate. I don't think I have ever seen him give such an emotive performance before or since.
 
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vanillashake

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I really think 96 is probably Shishkova & Naumov vs Kovarikova & Novotny as the top 2 contenders for gold. S&N's finish in Edmonton was a bit of a fluke, they were unbeaten that season. No way K&N don't stay for 96 and were the 95 World Champs. There would be others to possibly contend for a medal and even gold- Eltsova & Bushkov, Meno & Sand, Kazahkova & Dmitriev or whoever the 3rd Russians are (assuming M&D dont stay as a pair for 96 which seems super unlikely to me, she was already struggling behind motivated to make her 94 comeback). No reinstated pros I am pretty sure which drastically changes from the 94 situation. I wonder if any chance Brasseur & Eisler stay for a 96 Games.
 

bardtoob

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The real surprise was Galindo. I was so happy he was able to carry the momentum from his national title to the world championships. I thought he deserved gold, but Eldredge was not going to give up without a fight. Todd was on fire in the free skate. I don't think I have ever seen him give such an emotive performance before or since.
I don't think anything would have stopped Galindo from winning 1996 US Nationals. He was well on his way to being a world class Senior when he won 1987 Jr. Worlds, beating Todd in the process, without any political advantages, and his technique continued to allowed him to upgrade even with a complete lack of resources. Rudy just got sidetracked by Pairs because it was his best option, given there was a prototype for a successful pairs team like Yamaguchi and Galindo in Babilonia and Gardner.

However, IIRC Galindo was buried in the 1996 World SP despite performing well, and I think it would have been worse at the Olympics.

In the real world, he was much smarter than others {{cough Harding}} and took his National Championship and World Medal and went professional while his market value was high rather than continuing to aspire to be voted King of the Olympics by vote of the in crowd.


 
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olympic

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Butyrskaya lost political favor in Russia forever, even after her World title win in 1999 they jumped on the Slutskaya bandwagon immediately once she returned to form in fall 1999. That said she missed the 1995 worlds mostly since the bombed the 1995 Europeans. As Slutskaya had a low finish in the short program there it would have been extremely easy to qualify for Worlds over her. In fact with Markova delivering her usual subpar long program, atleast the silver at Europeans would have been easy with a reasonably good skate. She instead bombed badly and dropped to 7th from 3rd in the short, thus losing her spot at worlds to young Slutskaya.

If Markova still has the same 96 season she had, Butyrskaya and Slutskaya likely beat her out if there is only 2 spots quite easily. She had a super poor finish at Europeans and generally declined steadily after her 94-95 peak. Markova was a huge favorite of the Russian fed but when she was not delivering the technical goods there is nothing you can do about that.

Even at the 95 worlds she blew her shot of a medal, being 2nd to Bobek and ahead of eventual gold and silver medalists Chen and Bonaly after the short and dropped to 5th after the long program where despite no disaester errors she managed only 3 (maybe 2 since I think one was two footed) clean triples.
I did not know that Butyrskaya performed poorly at 95 Europeans. Russia may have used 1996 Europeans placements as a method to decide on a 1996 Olympics
 

essence_of_soy

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I did not know that Butyrskaya performed poorly at 95 Europeans. Russia may have used 1996 Europeans placements as a method to decide on a 1996 Olympics
Had Maria gone for her triple Axel in 1996, that could really have shaken things up a lot.

I was at the World Championships in Edmonton, and she did some terrific ones during practice.
 
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screech

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If the O's were in 1996, Canada would have had a woman competing, and I think regardless of the results at Canadians, Josee Chouinard would have been sent.

Other than that, I do still think we'd have Kulik as a champion, though Stojko and Eldredge would give him a run for his money.
 

vanillashake

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I doubt Maria goes for the triple axel since if she were going to she would have actually done it at the 96 worlds. She never had political clout to medal against Kwan, Chen, Slutskaya, Bonaly, and others at that point even with a clean skate without something like the triple axel to pull her ahead, so if she were going to do it she would have done it there as it was.
 

essence_of_soy

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I doubt Maria goes for the triple axel since if she were going to she would have actually done it at the 96 worlds. She never had political clout to medal against Kwan, Chen, Slutskaya, Bonaly, and others at that point even with a clean skate without something like the triple axel to pull her ahead, so if she were going to do it she would have done it there as it was.
Being in fourth place after the short, maybe she didn't think she needed it. We'll never know.
 

essence_of_soy

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If the O's were in 1996, Canada would have had a woman competing, and I think regardless of the results at Canadians, Josee Chouinard would have been sent.

Other than that, I do still think we'd have Kulik as a champion, though Stojko and Eldredge would give him a run for his money.
Kulik's Aladdin program made Tatiana Malinina's version look like T & D's Bolero. I preferred his free skate from 1995 when he won Europeans.

 

vanillashake

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Being in fourth place after the short, maybe she didn't think she needed it. We'll never know.
I mean she skated a clean short and her marks were way lower than the top 3 so I think it would be obvious she did, but that is just me. And with two girls getting 6.0s and Slutskaya getting a string of 5.7s and 5.8s even with a bad fall and juvenile program, it would be clear that was probably the only way she was going to medal, even with a clean skate.
 

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